Archives for the month of: February, 2011

Making my first research poster is kind of like going off on a quest after hearing one vague prophecy from a elderly (and somewhat senile) wizard. What do you include? Where do you make it? What font size do you use? (I’ve seen anything from 8- to 24-pt font suggested, so at this point, I’m just waiting to see whether my prof says there’s too much text and orders me to lop off half of the poster.)

Thankfully, all questers run into wonderful and unexpected benefactors at some point during their journey… And mines happen to take the form of a handout from Swarthmore College, as well as the Flickr group “Poster sessions”. No, I never expected that I would be looking up for sample posters on Flickr of all places, but, right now, it’s a god-send. Where else do you find 294 research posters to sift through at your own perusal?

On a side note, I chuckled at seeing Wikipedia’s disambiguation link on their page for “Quest” (yes, I look up everything on Wikipedia, even if I don’t need to): “This article discusses significance-laden journeys.” Significance-laden journeys, you say? Hopefully at p < .05 at the very least.

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And the unicorn used this method to memorize all the different types of presupposition triggers for its semantics class.

I was playing Alter Ego last night during an unintentionally extended break from studying. It’s a text-based RPG (role-playing game), somewhat similar to those Choose-Your-Adventure books, where they tell you to turn to page X if you want to do this, turn to page Y if you want to do that, except you’re not playing a predetermined character by the author. You’re playing yourself.

Instead of earning gold to buy swords which can hack up a Level 150 monster, Alter Ego takes you through the various stages of normal, unspectacular, human life — infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, etc. — and in each stage, you have a wide, wide range of possible choices, and your decisions will ultimately impact your future. In this way, the game achieves its goal to provide a place to imagine what your life would be like if only you did X or were more like Y.

The one qualm I have about Alter Ego is that they just don’t allow you enough turns per stage. This means that you don’t get to experience all the possible scenarios of each stage per run of the game, and I feel that’s just not enough to complete what you’re supposed to complete in each stage of life. For example, I was finally able to get through all the “college experiences” I needed to graduate…by the time I was in the OLD ADULTHOOD stage. >.> Would I even need a college degree by that point?

That the number of turns is limited is probably why the game is so short. I did not want to die yet (“there’s still so much I haven’t done!”), but there was no other choice: My time was up. They congratulated me on my death. I closed the browser window with the feeling that life is really transient. Did I not just run through a person’s entire life in a couple of hours? I was born, I grew up, I grew old, I died. Everything passes…so quickly. And it makes you think how fast real life passes you by too; in my case, I’m almost finished with another year of university! How can that be possible? I haven’t done that much yet!

Reflections aside, Alter Ego is a refreshing take on a fantasy-dominated game genre. Sure, there’s no images, but a game that is so personal in nature would not work with petty graphic representations. Try it — I’m sure you’ll like it. See what your life could turn out like if you make the same choices as you do in reality now, or become the exact opposite of who you are now…and see if your life turns out better (or worse). Perhaps you’ll walk away with some interesting reflections on life that may help you in reality.

One of my best friends recently wrote me a letter, and since then, I’ve been reflecting.

I’m truly thankful for having met such great people in my life. People who have put up with my flaws, mostly without question, time and time again, despite all the frustrations I’ve probably inflicted upon them. And I’m sure I don’t make much sense to most people — I don’t make sense to myself sometimes, either — but, I’m trying to not be so…well, wishy-washy. (Yeah, that’s a word I don’t think I’ve ever used before. I even feel weird typing it. But, it was the only word I had in mind at the moment, due to a particularly salient example from my Semantics class. >.<“)

So, I hope you know who you are when I say to you now: Sorry, and thank you.

A funny scene from the 2010 Hong Kong movie 72 Tenants of Prosperity (72家租客), which I just watched last night.

Haha, I can never get enough of it. XD I’m pretty sure I’ve replayed this clip at least five or six times today.

(I should note that I highly recommend this movie to anyone who likes a good comedy. There’s never a boring moment, and it’s so ridiculous that you just ignore the fact that it makes no sense whatsoever and decide to go along for the ride. And, the cast really is all-star, if you’re into that kind of thing.)

Okay, back to studying for my SUPER AWESOME FUN MIDTERMS! :D

Warning: This post may not be comprehendable by people who don’t do CSS/HTML.

The site I’ve created for my psych lab presented a frustrating float problem: I needed to have a title icon relatively positioned so that it overlapped the border of the content <div>, but I also needed all images, which are floated, to fit completely within the content <div> as well. Usually, to force floated images to stay within a <div>, you can put { overflow: hidden } for the <div>, but if I did this here, it would cut off my title icon. And that was just plain ugly.

Hence my journey into messy absolute positioning of the title icon, inserting ten thousand <p>&nbsp;</p> to fill up the extra space beside the abnormally large map to our lab, and self-questioning of whether that title icon was really necessary. That is when Google gave me an ingeniously simple solution I should’ve thought of when the problem first cropped up: Dump a single <p>&nbsp;</p> that is set to { clear: both }.

No, it’s not the prettiest solution — it’s best if everything can be controlled by CSS, or something outside of the HTML file — but I will have to live with it for now. Besides, it’s better than seeing this in the page source:

<p>&nbsp;</p>

<p>&nbsp;</p>

<p>&nbsp;</p>

<p>&nbsp;</p>

<p>&nbsp;</p>

<p>&nbsp;</p>

<!— plzdontlookatmycode —>

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